Wednesday, November 23, 2005

turkey day

Don't do it.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

harry potter, of course

From the New York Times review of the Goblet of Fire, talking about Ralph Fiennes: His Voldemort may be the greatest screen performance ever delivered without the benefit of a nose...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

errol morris & kermit the frog, here

I watched Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control this morning, and I am reconvinced of what a genius Errol Morris is. If you don't know who he is, IMDB him (is IMDB a verb yet? can we speed that process along?) and rent all those movies--although I can make no claims for the thin, blue line or a brief history of time.

Why he's a genius:

A constructivist documentarian! I don't know of any others, really. Or it's not so clear to me. Without voiceover the viewer is forced to construct the theme/argument/message/point of the whole shebang. With such amazing subjects as a lion tamer, topiary gardener, naked mole-rat expert, and roboticist, there's a lot of thinking to be done about theme/argument/message/point.

And, he's got an amazing knack for when he does dissociate audio from video, pairing that audio with subtly relevant imagery.

It's the subtlety really. The subtlety of a constructivist approach, the subtlety of his editing choices. So great.

Another movie I rewatched for the squillionth time this weekend was Labyrinth, which I've previously blogged about in relation to my amazing crush on David Bowie early in life. If you rent/own the DVD of this film, the documentary on the making of the film is so worth watching. You'll gain a whole new love for puppets if you don't love them already. You may miss the craft involved in moviemaking pre-CGI. You also may not be able to get over the fact that when Jim Henson talks, all you'll be able to hear is Kermit.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Some reading of late has been Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. It's an interesting book for many reasons, one of which is that it's basically a defense of comics as a legitimate art form. It's clear that people are starting to take the medium seriously as Chris Ware is serialized in the Times now, Art Spiegelman won a Pulitzer (albeit a while ago). It's right up there with humorous first-person essay and genre fiction for things that are either trendy or gaining legitimacy (only time will tell?). His definiton of art intrigues me: what what does that isn't directly related to survival or procreation. To wit, what cavemen did to fill the day when they weren't hunting/gathering/fucking. Add evolution, result is art. Don't know if I agree. Can you call the guy who picks up a guitar to get chicks an artist? What if he makes a great record? What about people who make their living making art? Where does craft fit in? Slippery indeed.

He's also got some stuff about abstracting faces from photorealistic to iconographic and how that shifts the reader's mentality from subjectivity to objectivity. Plus what abstraction of image does, plus where text fits into this pyramid schematic he's drawn.

Moreover, he's developed the stages to complete a comic book, and it's ridiculously easy to generalize them to any other artform. He's developed it so succinctly that it's easy to see where the avant-garde fits in, where the traditionalist fits in, among other entry points into art.

So yeah, really good stuff. I could say lots more.

So Tuesday I'm doing a reading of my very good friend Geraldine's play Iceland. She's really onto something with her playwrighting. Would that I could say I'm onto something these days.